Nicola Sturgeon snubbed by Donald Trump in plans for UK trip

Donald Trump on a previous visit to Turnberry. Picture: John Devlin.
Donald Trump on a previous visit to Turnberry. Picture: John Devlin.
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Donald Trump has failed to contact Nicola Sturgeon ahead of his first visit to Scotland as US president next week, it emerged last night.

A meeting between the two politicians was looking increasingly unlikely despite Mr Trump spending the whole of next weekend in Scotland.

The US president will fly into Scotland on Friday night having met the Queen and Theresa May and is expected to spend the weekend at his Turnberry golf resort.

At the hotel on the Ayrshire coast, Mr Trump is likely to play golf and will prepare for his showdown with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki.

The First Minister’s spokesman said the Scottish Government had not been involved in planning or preparation for the Scots leg of Mr Trump’s visit. The spokesman added there was no meeting scheduled with Ms Sturgeon. When asked if Mr Trump had been in touch with Ms Sturgeon, he added: “Not as far as I’m aware”.

He added: “We have made clear previously we would be prepared to consider a meeting should one be proposed but there is currently no meeting scheduled.”

• READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon pokes fun at Donald Trump ahead of UK visit

Details of Mr Trump’s four day visit is highly controversial with protesters expected to descend on London as well as Scottish cities. His schedule will take him away from the London demonstrations and includes a black-tie dinner at Blenheim Palace, a working lunch with Theresa May at Chequers and a meeting with the Queen at Windsor Castle.

In the past, Ms Sturgeon has attacked Mr Trump for making misogynist remarks and has expressed her horror at the sexual harassment allegations made against him.

Yesterday she made a thinly veiled attack on his opposition to renewable energy in Scotland.

Given her attacks on Mr Trump, a visit to Scotland has posed a dilemma for Ms Sturgeon over how a meeting with the president would be viewed.

Last night former Former first minister Henry McLeish said Ms Sturgeon would be pleased that Mr Trump had not yet been in touch. But he criticised the President for showing “massive discourtesy” towards Scotland’s First Minister.

• READ MORE: ‘Angry Trump baby’ balloon to fly over Parliament during US president’s UK visit

Mr McLeish said: “He is using Scotland as a sporting venue and it seems a massive discourtesy that he wouldn’t even suggest a meeting with the head of the Scottish Government. On the other hand I would imagine the head of the Scottish Government would be quite happy not to receive an invitation.”

Mr McLeish described Mr Trump as the most unpopular president in the post- war period and suggested Mr Trump was heading to Scotland to avoid demonstrations and to play golf.

“For him to come to Scotland at this time is just unacceptable and there will be protests here. I think he is using Scotland as an extended golf resort and an escape from the mayhem of the protests in London,” Mr McLeish said.

• READ MORE: Donald Trump’s failed attempts to buy landmark St Andrews hotel

Mr Trump will fly straight from Scotland at the end of the weekend to Finland where he has a crunch meeting with Mr Putin.

America’s Ambassador to London Woody Johnson said Mr Trump would use the Scottish end of his visit to prepare for his encounter with his Russian counterpart. Mr Johnson said: “He is going to spend a lot of time preparing for Helsinki. That is a very important meeting.”

Meanwhile Scottish politicians were preparing to protest against his visit. Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard referred to recent horrifying scenes on the US/Mexican border.

He said: “The sight of mothers separated from babies, and children caged like animals has horrified people across the globe, we should not be 
welcoming the man responsible. 

“It is my view, and that of the Scottish Labour Party, that someone who holds such misogynist, racist and anti-trade union views, not to mention his dangerous approach to foreign policy, and someone who rejects the Paris Climate Change Agreement, should not be given the ‘red carpet’ treatment.”